Korg Poly Series, Mono/Poly, DW-Series

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Korg Korg Synth overview..

KORG Analog / Digital Synthesizer Section

  • DWGS synthesizer (dw6000, dw8000)
  • Poly 61 + Poly 800 series 1982/83
Korg DW8000 & DW6000
english: DW series

the EX8000 ist the rack version of the
DW8000 – 1985

the DW6000 is a “smaller” version of the DW8000 – analog filters on both but 6 voices only on the DW6000
it was one of the first, that had FX in it (as the poly800 and dss1 sampler it has a delay inside! – 512ms max), 8 voices (the smaller version dw6000 had 6 voices), 2 DCOs, analog filters (standard lpf). it has 64 patches and there has been an extension for splitting and layering sounds, anyway:
normally the dw 8000 is in poly mode only. has velocity response. 2 special eg: ADBSSR envelopes! but dw6000 and dw8000 have analogue filters! the microkorg & ms2000 are of course VA / digital! – back to DW arpeggiator on board, too! one lfo (called mg (modulation generator) on korg synths). released in 1985. btw: the original dw series had 16 dwgs waves, the ms2000 / MS2000R and microkorg got lots more! btw: if you turn the dwgs knob you can get a nice “wavetable-like” sound scan. the microkorg/ms2000 (same engine) also allow symmetry of all waveforms (saw etc..) with pulse it is called PWM ;) there is also the fm mode, it does not allow all waveforms, so you can have sine and the basic waveforms for fm. still cool for a lot of sounds.
also able to ringmod and sync the oscs or both!.. 4 mod routings allow to change parameters by velocity. the real cool thing is the “arpeggiator” (more than that), where you can set every of the 8 (16 on the ms2000) “steps” like the roland TR drum machines. the number of waveforms are different.

korg DW8000:
korg dw8000
image: thanks to www.perishinlight.de
this is a typical mid 80ies synth: also available as expander ex8000. DW-8000 had some spectra / waveforms that come a bit closer to the original “instrument” that was intended to be emulated. the ms2000 and the microkorg re-introduced those so called DWGS waves / waveforms into korgs newer VA (virtual analog) sound engine. the DW-8000

korg dw8000
image: thanks to www.perishinlight.de

note (DW8000): there was a nice expansion to the dw8000’s midi and keyboard capabilities..
it’s basically adding split modes and “2x multitimbrality” features and master key stuff (local off) and a random waveform (DWGS wave) and more memory..

(D) für den DW8000 gibt es eine kleine erweiterung für splitten des keyboards /damit quasi 2fache multitimbralität) und eine random wellenform, mehr speicher und local off ,damit man den dw auch als masterkeyboard nutzen kann..

DW8000 rack: ex8000
DW6000 rack?: not available
ex800: thats the poly800 in a box (not 19″)

Korg Polysix: (one Osc + subosc) only but a nice “FX” section (chorus/ensemble).. not too fat but ok… those times.. same filters and envelopes like the MonoPoly (SSM) aaand..

polysix is a simple 6voice synth with just one VCO (with sub osc!), later replaced by the 2 DCO- poly61
the specialty on the poly6 is the “FX” section with ensemble, chorus
arpeggiator and chord memory (play a chord by just one key), 1 lfo (mg)

Polysix – the one osc’ed monopoly sister.
but it had a nice “FX” section: means – chorus, ensemble etc.. not really fat.. but nice pads can be done.. no resurrected within “legacy” as one of 3 emulationsthe korg mono/poly is a 4 VCO synth with crossmod (between 2 VCOs) and sync. quite a good bass synth but the env generator is not the fastest on earth.. it was able to be played as a 4 voice polysynth but with one filter only. as the new vermona per4mer (see vermona on this page!) has a similar philosophy but with 4 real synth sections. so the monopoly was used as a faaat bass synth or late “minimoog” competitor (well, it never reached that sound.. but was very interesting)..

it’s been said that korg seemed to have used the wrong pots: they have linear potentiometers inside, if you replace them by exponential ones the ENVs will be much faster!

find some details of the Mono/Poly here (just click the pics to enlarge them)

below: thats, how you can mod the MonoPoly if you don’t care about “respect” to design ;) no keyboard.


Polysix.. (click to enlarge)
korg polysix
korg polysix
korg polysix

korg monopoly
click the pic to enlarge:Korg MonoPoly Synthesizer
Korg MonoPoly Synthesizer
Korg MonoPoly Synthesizer
Korg MonoPoly Synthesizer
slightly modded korg mono/poly
Korg MonoPoly Synthesizer
Korg Poly 800 (expander: EX800) was quite similar in programming but with midi. it has 4 voices with 2 VCOs or 8 voices with one VCO higher resolution for resonance and cutoff, standard routings and 3 (!!) ADBSSR envelopes! but: only ONE filter (24dB/oct) for ALL voices!! so any key trigger triggered ONE filter for ALL voices. you can use it with batteries! and it has a nice 256step sequencer on board. (btw: the korg Poly 800 and korg Poly 800 II (a Poly800 with digital delay! built in!) also had one filter for ALL 4 (8) voices!!)

It has a nice set of Parameters for it’s 3 ADBSSR Envelops hardwired to Pitch, Filter and Amp.The Poly 800 II has an extra digital Delay. A rack version is available as EX800. Some poly800 have a nice modification to tweak cutoff and resonance. There are some Poly 800 and Poly800II with inverted keyboard out there.. There is a Sine Wave driven LFO aboard, too.. All versions have a simple 256step Sequencer an board but the note length can not be set.. so it is quite limited.. “nice to have” no more..

Korg Poly 800 Synthesizer
Korg Poly 800 Synthesizer
click to enlarge – thanks to acidmoon for poly800 pics!
Korg Poly 800 Synthesizer poly800
click to enlarge – thanks to acidmoon for poly800 pics!

The Korg Poly800 is a small 2 DCO Synthesizer. It is 4 note polyphonic when both are in use, 8 notes @ only 1 DCO running can also be used but: You only got ONE VCF for all Voices! It’s Waveforms can be used simulatneously at any of its Octave Settings. So it is not bad and sort of “additive octave”.. Memorizes 64 Patches.
korg poly 800
click to enlarge Poly 800
the korg Poly 61 was a simple digital controlled analogue synthesizer, you needed to choose a number from the imprinted list on the housing. same as the poly800. it’s resolution for resonace was only 3bit,so its 7 steps only, it’s a simple 6 voice 2 VCO,1 24dB/oct LPF, simple ADSR env.- synth with one LFO (called MG=modulation generator on korg synths)
later a Poly61M with midi and a midi retrofit kit was released but quite simple implementation – VERY SIMPLE!!
click some pics to find a larger version of the images..
KORG Poly61 ,
korg poly61 synthesizer
korg poly 61
nice arpeggiator. sort of digital polysix but no ensemble or chorus effect.
korg poly61
enlarge Poly-61 to see the parameters..

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Korg Korg Synth overview..